What is glycerin soap?
Posted on 3rd June 2020 at 14:49
What is glycerin soap?
In this article we are going to cover a few topics closely related to glycerin soap. They include:
Glycerin soap is a soap that contains pure glycerin. It’s hard to define glycerin soap as there are differing levels of glycerin in each bar. You can buy a pure glycerin soap which will only contain glycerin. These soaps tend to be really expensive as glycerin is a high valued commodity.
Another reason it is hard to determine a pure glycerin soap, is there are companies out there marketing their products as pure glycerin soap and in fact they are not. One very posh supermarket which has the royal seal of approval currently sells a pure glycerin soap bar for £1.11.
This is incredibly cheap for a soap bar, let alone one made with pure glycerin. In fact on inspection of the ingredients label, the soap is made from much cheaper oils such as palm oil, coconut oil and castor oil, all of which are very cheap oils.
Pure glycerin soap is translucent and clear, very similar to glycerin in its raw state apart from it now being a solid. Other soaps that contain high glycerin content are also called glycerin soaps as they haven’t had the glycerin removed from them.
This is perfectly fine to be called glycerin soap, but there should be a clear distinction between pure glycerin soap and glycerin soap.
One clear indication soap does not contain a lot of glycerin is the presence of salt or sodium chloride on the ingredient list.
When this is present it suggests the soap has gone through the process of removing the glycerin from it. This is a really simple process where the soap is put into salt water and separated from the glycerin. Once this is done the soap curds are scooped back up and re-melted into a bar of soap with all the glycerin gone from the bar. The glycerin will then be sold on to another company which can use this product in foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
More details on this can be found in our article “is glycerin soap good for your skin?”.
Why glycerin soap is good?
So now we know what glycerin soap is, it’s now time to explore why glycerin soap is good. First and foremost glycerin soap is good because it is naturally moisturising.
Glycerin is a humectant and will draw moisture towards your skin. If you are a sufferer of a dry skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis or roscea then a pure glycerin soap or a natural soap with high glycerin content will actively draw moisture back towards your skin.
This is good because dry skin lets out more moisture through the gaps in the skin cells than skin that is moisturised and holding moisture in with natural grease called sebum between the skin cells.
All skin produces this natural grease and it is this grease that sits between the skin cells holding the skin together and preventing moisture loss. Glycerin soap that contains no surfactants and is made with all natural ingredients will not remove this protective barrier to moisture loss.
This is because a natural glycerin soap will loosen the dirt, bacteria and viruses from your skin, then when you wash the soap away with water the undesirables on your skin will also be washed away.
When you wash with a soap, hand wash or shower gel that contains a surfactant such as sodium lauryl sulphate or its derivatives, then that ingredient will remove the natural grease between your skin cells too.
This will cause your skin to react in one of two ways depending on your skin. It will either continue to produce the same amount of natural grease for your skin, which will leave your skin dry, as the majority of your grease has just been washed away by the surfactant.
Or it will go into overdrive and produce a large amount of grease, which may leave your skin feeling oily and lead to breakouts of spots due to excess sebum.
Either way you skin isn’t feeling the way you want it to. Which is why using a glycerin soap is good, because it will not remove natural grease, it will only skim the dirt from the surface and leave the natural grease where it is meant to be.
Is glycerin soap good for dry skin?
Yes. It most definitely is. But let’s put some parameters on it so we know what is definitely good for dry skin.
In soap you have different ingredients that do different jobs. One of the most important jobs a soap does is to cleanse.
There are a couple of ingredients added to soaps that do this and usually they are palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil. Now these natural ingredients are all good cleansers, but 2/3 are hugely unethical. Palm oil and palm kernel oil are responsible for huge amount of deforestation but you can find out more about that here.
Now the use of these cleansers in soap should be limited to around 40% maximum. Unfortunately lots of over the counter soaps use extremely high amounts of palm oil in their soaps.
This has the effect of cleansing you so much, you end up feeling dry and rubbery after washing. Also a lot of over the counter soaps contain sodium lauryl sulphate as well as palm oil, so you get the natural drying effect and the chemicals stripping your skin of natural grease.
It is important to stress you need to know what ingredients are going into your soaps, as soap with a lot of cleansers, regardless of glycerin content will still leave your skin dry. You need to make sure the soap also has conditioning elements to it, conditioning elements can include olive oil, rapeseed oil and hempseed oil.
These conditioners are basically emollients that leave your skin feeling moisturised.
If you want a glycerin soap that is not drying to the skin, then the soap should be made up of a blend of skin loving ingredients and use less than 40% of these cleansing oils.
Like our amazing soaps which have a blend of skin loving ingredients, less than 40% coconut oil and high glycerin content.
So now you know what glycerin soap is and why it’s good for your skin, especially if you suffer from dry skin. Hopefully we have also enlightened you as to what to look out for in your soap and what to avoid.
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I hope you have enjoyed this article, and we have plenty more on our blog if you want to read more about why natural glycerin soap is so great.
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